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{October 21, 2011}   {Review} The Life of Polycrates and Other Stories for Antiquated Children by Brenden Connell

From Goodreads: Myth and imagination are confronted with historical precision in Brendan Connell’s newest collection of short fiction, bringing together a number of stories previously published in journals and anthologies as well as never before published material that includes the novella The Life of Polycrates, describing the rise to power of the ancient Greek ruler, his eccentric deeds and the fantastic personalities around him. This is a book of bizarre histories and cerebral studies that explores the darkest passages of the human heart and brightest depravities of the human mind.

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The main story in this compilation is an intriguing novella exposing the life of the great leader, Polycrates, in a manner that most histories do not; it’s interesting.  It reads very much like the aside stories in high school textbooks—you know, the ones set apart from the textbook by the boxes the editors rope it off in, the ones that further explain an event that is actually captivating, unlike the rest of the book…  I remember being in history class and, instead of listening to the lecture or following along in the textbook, I would turn the pages in my textbook and read all the “stories” about great people instead.  It always held my attention, and that is what The Life of Polycrates was like for me when I read it; an interesting history that I actually enjoyed reading.  Seriously, why can’t all textbooks be like this story instead of droning on and on?

The rest of the short stories within the compilation were interesting, though none caught my attention like the one about Polycrates.  Some of them were a little disturbing, well, I guess parts of Polycrates was disturbing as well, but overall I thought they were all well written, though I wouldn’t necessarily give this compilation to young readers… maybe college age and older.  Three stars.    

I recieve a copy of this work fromt he author in exchange for an honest review.



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